Daily Practice and Failing Gloriously

5:54 PM

I recently received a comment from someone who said, "I've never seen you post a failure on your blog. All your work looks wonderful." Well, let's correct that today, shall we?! The painting above is what I call a glorious failure - it has a few redeeming qualities, but for the most part it's a fairly bad watercolor. However, the glorious part comes with what it has to teach me.


I am trying to increase my knowledge and ability to paint wet-into-wet with watercolor. Let the watercolor be free to do its own thing. And those darn artists in those books and magazines make it look so easy. Falling off a log easy. I'm here to tell you, it's not! You have to know when the paper is wet enough, too wet, and/or too dry. You have to know the same thing about your pigments. It is also necessary to know which pigments are going to work well on the paper and play nice with others. And those that will sit like a proverbial bump  - inert and uninteresting.

This is not a successful painting in that I will turn it over and use the back for another painting. It is a successful painting in that I am getting more comfortable with turning loose, I can see improvements, and best of all, I'm finally beginning to get the hang of it! It's going to take a lot more practice before I've got a winner (by my standards) on my hands and that's okay too.

I think sometimes that it is a tragedy that we cannot remember the challenge and struggle of learning to roll over, push up, sit up, pull up, scoot, scoot backwards, stand up, step forward, walk while hanging on, walk while not hanging on, and finally running and then riding a bike. We forget how many times we fell down before we got the hang of whichever stage we were at. Art, like learning most things in life, is no different. 

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